New Frontiers 2016: A Heartfelt Thank You

U.S. Ambassador Gilbert speaking at New Frontiers..

U.S. and New Zealand entrepreneurs, creative technologists, educators and investors visited New Zealand for the 2016 New Frontiers conference held in Whiteman’s Valley between February 12-26, 2016. The programming of New Frontiers was designed with three overarching themes: Planet, Story, and Economy. Each day featured a mix of U.S. and local keynote talks, in-depth panel discussions, open space sessions, and interactive group conversations.U.S. Ambassador Gilbert had the opportunity to also speak at New Frontiers about the United States Government’s commitment to the environment, touching on the recent COP21 Summit.

Below is a re-post from KiwiConnect’s Alina Siegfried (from the KiwiConnect blog)

New Frontiers 2016: A Heartfelt Thank You

The lights have gone out in the Event Dome, with New Frontiers wrapping up for another year. Yet as the festival itself has come to an end, the conversations are just beginning. A group of 250+ individuals who just participated in a deeply immersive experience together are heading back to their homes, their workplaces, their communities and their next adventures, with new perspectives on old problems, and the seeds for new collaborations sowed.

New Frontiers is designed to be a platform for cross pollination of vastly different ideas, perspectives, and voices to come together; a gathering of diverse participants who might not usually get the chance to be in the same environment, to discuss topics of shared importance. It was a forum for untangling the large and complex challenges humanity faces, and discuss opportunities for local and global innovations, which can drastically improve wellbeing across the planet.

We gathered in recognition that diverse perspectives allow us to reach new depths in collective learning, and lead to better solutions. We aimed to create a safe environment to explore mind shifts, and to question our underlying assumptions of what is possible and what is needed. So we promised each participant that if they didn’t feel uncomfortable at least once, then we haven’t done our job properly.

The conversations across the three themes of Planet, Story and Economy prompted each person to ask themselves, “How can I be of service to the world?” With participants from so many walks of life, we were brought to our “edges”, the place where real change and growth happens. As permaculturalist Gary Williams explained, nature is most dynamic at the edges between different ecosystems.

New Frontiers is a participant driven festival, where everyone contributes their unique gifts and perspectives. The Kiwi Connect and Aroha Valley teams want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all who came with open hearts and minds, and helped cultivate a space for rich discussion, reflection and learning.

Thank you to all who imparted their wisdom, told their stories, shared their talents, lent an attentive ear, asked probing questions, and who simply gave their time, resources and full attention to make New Frontiers a transformational event for so many. We are also grateful to the organisations that supported this event, including Air New Zealand, Grow Wellington, Upper Hutt City Council, and to those who contributed their time, products and services, including Royster Productions, Common Unity Project Aotearoa, Enspiral, Wilding & Co, Peter Yealands, Tailor, Total Bins and Moa Brewing Company.

We will be sharing the collective experience far and wide in the coming weeks, with videos on our YouTube channelKiwi Connect blog, in our newsletter, on MediumFacebookTwitter,  and many other places. Please share these stories throughout your own networks to take the New Frontiers messages out into the world!

We can’t wait to see what ripples flow out across the pond this year, across Aotearoa New Zealand, and far beyond.

With heartfelt gratitude,

The Kiwi Connect & Aroha Valley teams